So now I hand you over to the writer of the fantastic Trash, Andy Mulligan.
BLOGGING ON THE UK TRASH TRAIL…
A fascinating range of encounters, all organized by Random House – the publishing house that seems determined to prize me out of my comfort zone. Disaster struck early when, having checked into the Novotel Paddington I discovered that I hadn’t packed my trunks, which meant either no swimming or nude swimming. I thought long and hard about this and decided that even a small entry in some local paper, ‘A children’s author was arrested yesterday for frightening small children…’ would be BAD publicity – so no, I stayed in my room and decided to start “the blog”.
Which is a word I hate.
And a word that seems to encourage me to write grammatically incorrect sentences too. Standards slipping. If I am not very careful I will be writing Gr8 lol and inserting those odious face-icons: so the decision has been taken to ‘blog’ in sentences, and use a full range of punctuation marks.
Anyway, on the road…or on the tracks. We picked up a 125 heading West, and it wasn’t long before I spied an unattended package on the luggage racks opposite. Pressing the emergency alarm button, I braced myself as the train screamed to a halt. A local fire crew tore the roof from the train as armed officers doused us all in foam. Lucky for me that I recalled those first aid training sessions from school, because my Random House publicity manager was hyperventilating and I had to open her airway with my pen…
‘Author of ‘Trash’ saves day in inter-city throat opening emergency’ surely would be GOOD publicity.
But, in fact, the journey was very quiet and as our tickets were in order we suffered no hardships or interruptions. We arrived at the pretty town of Chepstow nestling between the river Wye and the river Woo, visited a great little bookshop that was selling ‘Trash’ and had a big poster in the window, under which the unsmiling face of Andy McNab glowered at shoppers. Mr McNab is promoting his new book too, and I firmly believe that in a car-park situation, if I got the first punch I could have him – which I am going to suggest to the Random House publicity team as a special promotion you-tube video, ‘The Two Andys, round the back of Chepstow Sainsbury’s, slugging it out for Literature’.
(Note from Carly: Random House, please organise this. And throw Chris Ryan in there to referee. It'd be magic)
Anyway, then we went to the pretty comprehensive school of Chepstow, which nestles between the castle and the cement works and met year 9. They were missing maths, so seemed reasonably pleased to meet me – and I was certainly pleased to meet them as they were polite, funny and asked interesting questions. Then it was on again, because time waits for no man in the Random House publicity tour – and as if by magic we were in the historic town of Cardiff, which nestles between the Bristol Channel and M4, for a conference of librarians.
What do you imagine a library conference to be like? I imagined that it would be full of elderly people saying ‘Shhhh!’ to each other.
‘We’d like to introduce Andy Mulligan, who’s written a -’
‘But he’s going to talk about -’
‘Do you want to borrow that book?’
‘No, actually, it’s mine -’
‘Then put it back! We’re closing!’
I was in a library the other day doing some photocopying, and needed to borrow a pair of scissors from the librarian. I had to use the scissors under her supervision, at her desk, because if I had been seen carrying scissors the public might have been alarmed.
Needless to say the library conference was, in fact, wonderful, and libraries have changed so much since I was a boy being shushed. This crowd were clearly dedicated to fiction and determined to keep their libraries accessible, modern and stimulating. The conference centre was full of remarkable looking books – you just wanted to curl up and read forever. Now it’s turning colder, wouldn’t it be nice to crawl under the shed into a nice bundle of leaves with fifty really good books, and emerge in the Spring?
But the river of time flows without ceasing, and it wasn’t long before I found myself at the Random House office in the leafy village of Ealing, where – as you will see from the photo – the entire staff had turned off their computers and put on their answerphones so as to bake the author of ‘Trash’ a cake! What a feast we had – or would have had, had I not noticed an unattended package on the bookshelves, forcing me to evacuate the building and fill all seven floors with ice-cold water. And this is just the beginning! There are five more days to come!
I must be honest, a book hibernation does sound like a lovely idea. Thank you so much, Andy. We'll be back tomorrow with more Trash goodies so I'll see you all then! And don't forget to enter the giveaway if you haven't yet - it's closing on Thursday night so don't miss out.